Today we’ll take a quick look at some related compounds, all derivatives of butyric acid.

Butyric acid
butyric acid
Butyric acid is a short-chain fatty acid, and gets its name from the Greek for “butter” – and is, appropriately, responsible for the distinctive smells of rancid butter and vomit. Esters of butyric acid (e.g. methyl/ethyl butyrate) are often used as artificial flavourings and in perfumes, typically having fruity odours.

Butyrate salts
sodium butyrate
The sodium salt of butyric acid, sodium butyrate, is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. [1,2] HDACs regulate a number of the body’s processes; inhibiting some can increase follistatin levels and suppress myostatin, other HDACs (the sirtuins) may hold the key to treating conditions like Azheimers, diabetes, and even aging. One study (/advertisement) found oral supplementation of sodium butyrate in mice increase energy expenditure and improved insulin sensitivity in mice. [3]

gamma-aminobutyric acid
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an important neurotransmitter, and also has peripheral effects in a variety of tissues. GABA receptors can also be triggered by a range of “GABAergic” drugs, which typically have relaxing, anxiolytic, and anti-convulsive effects. GABAergic drugs including alcohol, benzodiazepines, z-drugs, and GHB. Oral administration of GABA has been associated with an increased growth hormone response to resistance training. [4]

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid
gamma hydroxybutyric acid
Although it’s mostly thought of in the public consciousness as a date-rape drug, GHB is also used medicinally as a treatment for narcolepsy and alcoholism, and historically as an anaesthetic. As a medication the sodium salt form is preferred, known as sodium oxybate. GHB is also a growth-hormone secretagogue [5,6] though anyone considering self-experimentation for ergogenics or aesthetics should be aware it is a controlled drug.

Beta-hydroxybutyric acid
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a ketone body produced by the liver during periods of fasting or reduced carbohydrate intake (ketosis). Ketone bodies can be used by most cells as an alternative fuel source to glucose.
A ketogenic diet increases the levels of the thermogenic tissue brown fat in mice. [7] Moreover, the ketone body BHB has been found to be a strong white fat browning agent. [8]
Beta-hydroxybutyric acid salts can be found in Patrick Arnold’s KetoForce and KetoCaNa products. [9] KetoForce and KetoCaNa can be used as an energy source to improve physical performance, or to ease the transition from glucose metabolism into ketosis for ketogenic dieters.

Beta-aminoisobutyric acid
beta-aminoisobutyric acid
Beta-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA), a catabolite of the amino acid valine, has recently been identified as a white-fat browning agent and exercise mimetic. [10] It’s believed BAIBA acts as a myokine, transmitting exercise-induced signals to other parts of the body like the liver and fat tissue, and may be responsible for some of the metabolic benefits of exercise. [11,12]
BAIBA can be found in the Antaeus Labs products LipoMorph and Modular Series BAIBA. [13]

1. Candido EP, Reeves R, Davie JR. Sodium butyrate inhibits histone deacetylation in cultured cells. Cell. 1978 May;14(1):105–13.
2. Davie JR. Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase Activity by Butyrate. J Nutr. 2003 Jan 7;133(7):2485S – 2493S.
3. Gao Z, Yin J, Zhang J, Ward RE, Martin RJ, Lefevre M, et al. Butyrate Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Increases Energy Expenditure in Mice. Diabetes. 2009 Jan 7;58(7):1509–17.
4. Powers ME, Yarrow JF, McCoy SC, Borst SE. Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Jan;40(1):104–10.
5. Van Cauter E, Plat L, Scharf MB, Leproult R, Cespedes S, L’Hermite-Balériaux M, et al. Simultaneous stimulation of slow-wave sleep and growth hormone secretion by gamma-hydroxybutyrate in normal young Men. J Clin Invest. 1997 Aug 1;100(3):745–53.
6. Volpi R, Chiodera P, Caffarra P, Scaglioni A, Saccani A, Coiro V. Different control mechanisms of growth hormone (GH) secretion between γ-amino- and γ-hydroxy-butyric acid: neuroendocrine evidence in parkinson’s disease. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1997 Oct 1;22(7):531–8.
7. Srivastava S, Baxa U, Niu G, Chen X, Veech RL. A ketogenic diet increases brown adipose tissue mitochondrial proteins and UCP1 levels in mice. IUBMB Life. 2013 Jan;65(1):58–66.
8. Carrière A, Jeanson Y, Berger-Müller S, André M, Chenouard V, Arnaud E, et al. Browning of white adipose cells by intermediate metabolites: an adaptive mechanism to alleviate redox pressure. Diabetes. 2014 Oct;63(10):3253–65.
9. Prototype Nutrition: Products
10. Roberts LD, Boström P, O’Sullivan JF, Schinzel RT, Lewis GD, Dejam A, et al. β-Aminoisobutyric acid induces browning of white fat and hepatic β-oxidation and is inversely correlated with cardiometabolic risk factors. Cell Metab. 2014 Jan 7;19(1):96–108.
11. Ginter E, Simko V. Recent data on obesity research: β-aminoisobutyric acid. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2014;115(8):492–3.
12. Kammoun HL, Febbraio MA. Come on BAIBA Light My Fire. Cell Metabolism. 2014 Jan 7;19(1):1–2.
13. Antaeus Labs: Products

One thought on “Butyrates

  1. Sodium butyrate inhibits TGF-1b, allowing BMP-7 to proliferate, which itself promotes BAT. In addition, recent news articles have been released praising an as-of-yet unnamed drug that inhibits TGF-1b, thereby allowing stem cell proliferation and neural regeneration.

    This may be one of many inhibitors of TGF-1b. I apologize if you covered all of this prior to my comment.

    Link: http://www.impactjournals.com/oncotarget/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=3851&path%5B%5D=8731

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